You’d believe that by using online tools or your school’s LMS communication would be easier, as students would have access too their devices at all times. Even so, while this is not a problem in face-to-face classes, assigning homework and sending announcements sometimes is not enough to get the message across effectively. With all of the other responsibilities us teachers have, it seems like there is not enough time to even prepare full engaging classes and assignment, let alone get feedback and responses from your students. However, by following these communication tips, it may help you build a classroom community that shows bow much you care, making teaching a more positive experience in general!
Have students get used to a specific period of time to receive information.
Whenever you’re sending out newsletters, announcements, or assignments, make sure to pick a specific time of day or week to send them. Students will get into the routine of watching for emails or notifications at that time.
If your LMS permits it, try to schedule announcements ahead of time. If you know you need to send a reminder about a project every Tuesday, write it once, and schedule it for the year or semester at the beginning of it. If you aren’t able to schedule, use a word document and store your canned announcements so you just have to copy-paste-send it as needed. It will save you minutes!
Be constant and do not jump between apps/features
Try not to bounce back and forth between communication tools. If you’re using an app, always use the app. If you’re using email, always use email. If you’re using what the LMS offers, stay on the LMS. Keep it simple enough that no student will stay behind, but robust enough that it will give you all the features you need.
K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple [for] Students
I prefer using an external app like Remind as emails tend to get buried. This keeps all school communication in one place. Encourage parents to allow notifications for these apps, because without them, they don’t see your information.
Make It Short And Sweet
Most students won’t read paragraphs. Keep all communication to a few sentences at most.
Teach students how to identify the most important topic or announcement you share. Even better, use phrases to call attention to your announcement: “NEWS” “ANNOUNCEMENT” or “ASSIGNMENT” at the beginning of the first sentence and students will know exactly what the post is all about.
Don’t Overuse The System
Students will tune out if the information you are send them is not relevant to the topics being discussed in the classroom. Announcements, reminders, and schedule changes are important. A news article not linked to one of your lesson isn’t. No matter how you get them informed, use other means to get them those interesting but not important tidbits of information. Your students will appreciate it even if they don’t verbally say it.
These communication tips will help to cut down on the amount of time you spend crafting reminders, and announcements. That way, the bulk of the time you spend communicating can be about personal necessities your students may have.